Sunday, January 26, 2014

3/20: Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived PeoplesHealthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: In this revolutionary book, bestselling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span. Through the example of four very different cultures that have the distinction of producing some of the world’s healthiest, oldest people, Robbins reveals the secrets for living an extended and fulfilling life in which our later years become a period of wisdom, vitality, and happiness. From Abkhasia in the Caucasus south of Russia, where age is beauty, and Vilcabamba in the Andes of South America, where laughter is the greatest medicine, to Hunza in Central Asia, where dance is ageless, and finally the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa, the modern Shangri-la, where people regularly live beyond a century, Robbins examines how the unique lifestyles of these peoples can influence and improve our own.

Bringing the traditions of these ancient and vibrantly healthy cultures together with the latest breakthroughs in medical science, Robbins reveals that, remarkably, they both point in the same direction. The result is an inspirational synthesis of years of research into healthy aging in which Robbins has isolated the characteristics that will enable us to live long and–most important–joyous lives. With an emphasis on simple, wholesome, but satisfying fare, and the addition of a manageable daily exercise routine, many people can experience great improvement in the quality of their lives now and for many years to come. But perhaps more surprising is Robbins’ discovery that it is not diet and exercise alone that helps people to live well past one hundred. The quality of personal relationships is enormously important. With startling medical evidence about the effects of our interactions with others, Robbins asserts that loneliness has more impact on lifespan than such known vices as smoking. There is clearly a strong beneficial power to love and connection.

Another textbook done!
This was a good book with good information. The studies that were done for the longest-living cultures were fascinating but I didn't feel they were well related back to today's society. There were a lot of good points about the differences in diet and definitely showed WHY some cultures live longer than the average North American, I just didn't feel a connection. Perhaps because what was being said seems very basic to me. Eat whole, natural foods. Limit saturated and trans fats. Stay away from hydrogenated oils and fats. All things that people should do anyways.
I did enjoy reading the studies and the connection between food, mind and body. It was interesting, but nothing I haven't learned before.

What I did appreciate most about this book was the view on aging. It is a natural process that is feared by so many. We all age, but we have a choice whether we get old. There is a difference. I believe that when we are not afraid of aging, but embrace the changes, we are happier and healthier. The choices we make TODAY and in the future, will make a difference for how we age and how long we live.

Are you afraid to get old? Is it because of the media? Some cultures have the utmost respect for their elderly. They are not shoved away in a home, they are revered as wise and the most important resource in the community. We grow old because society tells us we have to. There is so much "ageism" in our world that as we age, we conform to the negative image ourselves. What would happen if we broke that image?

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2/20: The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Anita Bean

The Complete Guide to Sports NutritionThe Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Anita Bean
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: "The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition "is the definitive practical handbook for anyone wanting a performance advantage. This fully updated and revised edition incorporates the latest cutting-edge research. Written by one of the country's most respected sports nutritionists, it provides the latest research and information to help you succeed. This seventh edition includes accessible guidance on the following topics: maximising endurance, strength and performance, how to calculate your optimal calorie, carbohydrate and protein requirements, advice on improving body composition specific advice for women, children and vegetarians, eating plans to cut body fat, gain muscle and prepare for competition, sport-specific nutritional advice.

Really enjoyed this book for my course. It was informative in a way that took some knowledge I already knew and gave me reasons and justifications. It was simple to follow for anyone interested in sports nutrition. It's not a book for just the athlete, but for anyone that does some form of activity, whether that be once or twice a week at the gym or an occasional runner.

I especially liked the calculations and formulas it provided to calculate your calories needed as well as how much of those would be carbohydrates, protein and fat. It really puts a great perspective on things.

I did the calculations at the end of the book as a project for my course on my husband. He was shocked to find out he was trying to lose weight by eating way below his Resting Metabolic Rate. That means his body wasn't letting go of weight because it thought he was in a famine or starving. Eating below his RMR caused his body to hold onto everything it had rather than burning. Now that we have him on a different plan, I am eager to see what his results will be in the next 3 months.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

1/20: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better BirthThe Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From Goodreads: The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth helps you compare and contrast your various options and shows you how to avoid unnecessary procedures, drugs, restrictions, and tests. The book covers: Cesareans, breech babies, inducing labor, IVs, electronic fetal monitoring, rupturing membranes, coping with slow labor, pain medication, episiotomy, vaginal birth after a cesarean, doulas, deciding on a doctor or midwife, choosing where to have your baby, and much more

This book was amazing. I loved how there were studies cited, data to back things up and a nice overview of all the interventions that could be offered for birth. Listing the pros and cons for each intervention, whether that be for a vacuum delivery, saline injections or a TENS machine, it was very thorough.
It was biased towards natural childbirth, which for me is perfect because that's what we are aiming for. It was nice to read a book that showed all of the options to consider so that my husband or I have more information to make an informed decision. I feel it's important to go into birth (this being my first one) knowing what options are available and decide beforehand which ones we would consider, and which ones would be an absolute no.
This book really made me more grounded in my decisions for our birth plan, but also gave me the information I may need in order to adjust and be flexible. Birth doesn't happen as you plan it, so I think it's important to know the alternatives and which ones are most closely related to your plan and which ones you may or may not be ok with using.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

2014 is going to be exciting!

My blogging sort of fell off after September. A lot of things happened in the summer/fall of 2013 and rather than rehash everything, I'm going to start 2014 off fresh.
I have a few goals to accomplish this year in my personal life and work life. Big changes made me reevaluate what was important last year and gave me a really great focus for the new year.

1. Be a healthy pregnant lady and have a healthy baby.
I am currently 23 weeks pregnant. I have loved every minute of it. The aches, the pains, the joy, the kicks, the crazy emotions, the love. Every moment is worth it. We are due in early May. I won't give the exact date because most people know babies make their debut into the world when they damn well please. I eat fairly healthy and want to continue to do that during the pregnancy.

2. Be a fit mom
After the baby is born, I want to continue with the healthy eating, and be physical. There are so many programs for moms with little ones. By December I want to be in shape. Not pre-pregnancy, but better. My family has a tendency to lose baby weight quickly, so for me, the goal will be to tone and build muscle. It would be awesome to start running again. I really miss it.

3. Write and pass my Nutrition Final
I have until January 2015 to complete my courses and write my final. My goal is to finish my courses before baby. Deadline is April. I will have to do case studies after the baby is born. Hopefully write my final exam in November.

4. Read 20 books
I had a hard time relaxing and reading last year. I want to get 20 read this year. It's the lowest goal I've had for reading, but I'm going to be really busy. I have multiple devices to read on, so I figure while I nurse, I should be able to read a little... right?

5. Travel
We have a couple trips planned already. Palm Springs in February, Fairmont Hot Springs (annual family vacation) in July. We are even thinking of a bigger trip in October when baby is still very portable and we've figured out this parenting thing. We'll see where finances stand.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Been too long

I seem to keep forgetting I have this blog. Things have been so crazy busy with life!
I also haven't read a "fun" book in months. Everything I read is either school related or bible study. I'm itching to read something but I have other things that are a priority.

Something exciting has happened in the last few months and I'm finally able to share. Frenchie and I are expecting our first child! I am 13 weeks today and feeling amazing. I've started a branch off blog so this one stays as it is for books, food and fitness.
Visit And Bebe Makes Five for all the pregnancy details. I'm tracking each week and will start to post some bump photos more consistently.

As for the rest of life, piano lessons are in full swing. I love teaching and now that we're entering November soon, that means I can dig out Christmas carols in preparation for the Christmas recital. I'm hoping that I can get at least one student to do a duet this year.

I fell off the Happiness Project by being busy with other things. It's a shame because I loved the project, but here isn't time in my pregnancy brain for everything and right now my priorities are eating, teaching and studying. The plan is to get as much of my Nutrition diploma done before baby arrives. The sooner I complete the courses, case studies and exam, the sooner I can start my business and start a new chapter in my career.

Just a quick update that I may not post as often here, but that I'm still around!